Salvaged from the wilderness and festooned in Ivy, Wishbone is a charming stone cottage found within the grounds of a once-forgotten fruit farm in Worcestershire's tranquil Malvern Hills.

With breathtaking views stretching far across the AONB, it didn't take much to persuade owner Mervyn Franklyn to put an offer in on the property when he was looking for the perfect retreat from London. “The scene that presents itself when you open the double doors was the only encouragement I needed to move here,” he explains. “It is hidden from plain sight when you first arrive, but you just pause when it hits you as it is remarkable.”

After a career travelling the world, fashion photographer Mervyn and his wife Niki began to crave a slower pace of life. “Spending so much time on the road and living out of a suitcase, it began to take its toll. We wanted to slow everything down and share the luxury of time with others, which is what prompted us to convert the barn into what you see now.” 

Thought to be over 500 years old, Wishbone has a rich history of aristocrats and farming. Once the home of Earl Beauchamp in the late 19th century, the early 20th century saw the barn used for storage as part of a fruit farm. With some of the ancient apple trees still active in the orchard today, it was important to Mervyn and Niki that references to the past remained in place.

Originally used as a playroom for the children, the structure has been left as found, but with the addition of the basic amenities and furnishings. “Nature had a big part to play,” explains Mervyn. “We wanted to let the greenery and plants grow up around the building as that helps with the aesthetic. The structure maintains its authenticity and I don’t think it would have worked if we had tried to make it something it wasn’t.”

Inside, Wishbone's 16th century roots are celebrated with endless quirks and cosy nooks to fall in love with. Mervyn highlights that, "We wanted to keep all original features and enhance the timbers, stone walls and vaulted truss ceilings with a selection of vintage items that we have collected over the years." 

"On a clear day, you can see 14 different counties across the horizon and although built on the foundations of pub talk, there is an urban myth that the next highest point when looking in a Northeasterly direction are Russia's Ural Mountains,” Mervyn goes on to say.

"Wishbone takes you back to a simpler time, which is the ultimate stress relief in my opinion – some guests arrive and only get back in their car on departure day,” says Mervyn. “We welcome artists and writers, among other creatives, who often use the space to get their imaginations flowing."

“We feel blessed that we get to savour that view every day and seeing the pure satisfaction on our guests' faces each time is a welcomed reminder for us.”